Sunday, March 15, 2009

Muslim people are rarely Islamists

I received from an acquaintance a forwarded email concerned with Islamic fundamentalism in Australia. You know the kind, the facile anti-Muslim ones that have been doing the rounds of the Internet for years, rousing a rabble and wasting bandwidth.

I very often try to explain to people that the word 'Islamic' differs from the word 'Islamist' much as the word 'rabbit' differs from the word 'rabid', or the term 'evangelical Christian anti-abortionist' differs from 'Christian bomber of abortion clinics'. A few people get it; millions don't.

Now, believe me, I don't much like Islam at all, or most of the world's religions. But I do have a strong attachment to Reason.

My reply was:


Personally, I wouldn't take this as 'gospel'. I've had a lot to do with hundreds of Muslims in Australia and have shared houses with a number of Muslims for long periods of time. Most Muslims in Australia, as far as I can tell, are not very religious and are certainly not Islamists -- more like Anglo-Celtic Australians with their diluted devotion to Christian and Biblical views. They are nominal Muslims like many Anglo-Celtic Australians are nominal Christians. Most of them couldn't give a rat's arse about religion.

I grew up in a very large extended family of Christian fundamentalists, but although I think some of them deluded, I'm sure they are mostly harmless. However, I have heard many Christian fundos say that everyone but themselves were "infidels" and condemned to perdition. There seems to be a small streak of fundamentalism in all the world's religions. Thankfully, such adherents are small in number and mostly harmless. Look at the USA -- there are millions of Muslims but almost never a Muslim terrorist outrage (nothing significant since September, 2001, yet it only takes a 20-cent box of matches to destroy a building-- easy as pie).

In fact, most of the religion-related terrorist outrages in American history, including the last ten years, have been caused by fundamentalist Christians. Let's look at where the word 'fundamentalism' came from. It was a movement that arose mainly within British and American Protestantism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries -- see .

With an easy Google search you can extract from Jewish, Buddhist or Christian scriptures at least as as much violence and cruelty as you can from the Qur'an or from Hitler's rants. As far as I'm concerned, most of the scriptures from the world's great religions contain truckloads of mentally ill and violent texts, but most Jews, Christians and Muslims think they're all a crock of shit. I'm not very worried about any of the followers of fundamentalist views, whether Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, etc, etc. Certainly they can be dangerous, but they are very few in number and most Muslims, like most Christians, Jews and Buddhists, are interested in human compassion and personal redemption. Frankly, I'd be more concerned about fundamentalist ne0-conservatives and Marxist-Leninists than fundo Christians, Jews or Muslims.

I recommend reading certain web pages such as and among many other pages that will be easily found with a Google search of the word skepticism.



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Blogger Fignatz said...

Me, I'm an atheism fundamentalist, and I haven't torched a church of any denomination in, gee, must be ages now.

9:38 AM  

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